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B. Hannan (glasgow)
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The Night Hunter: An Anderson & Costello Police Procedural Set in Scotland (An Anderson & Costello Mystery)
The Night Hunter: An Anderson & Costello Police Procedural Set in Scotland (An Anderson & Costello Mystery)
by Caro Ramsay
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.93

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NEWER AND BETTER, 7 Aug. 2014
Caro Ramsay has a new publisher and a new star character. Elvie McCulloch is probably one of the oddest but most beguiling characters in detective fiction. When she gets involved for the hunt for her missing sister, the twists come thick and fast and right from the start. I'm usually quite good a guessing what's going on but Caro Ramsay kept me wrong-footed all the time. The double twist at the end completely threw me. Shes done something very bold - taken a more objective view of her series characters Anderson & Costello by allowing them to be seen from the perspective of McCulloch. Although the book begins in familiar Glasgow territory it soon shifts to the dangerous bleakness of Argyll. Albeit the previous books have not avoided dealing with the personal issues, this one goes deeper, with a touching analysis of sisterhood. The writing, as ever, is of a high quality but in showing a police investigation from the perspective of the victims Ramsay reinvents herself.


Darker than Amber: Introduction by Lee Child: Travis McGee, No.7
Darker than Amber: Introduction by Lee Child: Travis McGee, No.7
Price: £2.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The master!, 6 Nov. 2013
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It has taken me ages to read this book as I have savoured virtually every word. Given that he is dead and there will be no new books, I am reading the entire series at a snail's pace. What you get with MacDonald is one of the best-ever series character and and unusually absorbing world view. An inveterate commitment phobe, the character is nonetheless entangled with various female characters, who often kick start the plot, as is the case here. They tried to make a film of this in 1970 but it was an indifferent effort, hardly surprising as it is impossible to capture the liquid beauty of his writing.


The Innocents (BFI Film Classics)
The Innocents (BFI Film Classics)
by Christopher Frayling
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top class, 6 Nov. 2013
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Another excellent book from Christopher Frayling. This takes us through the genesis of both Henry James' book and the film. The author had access to director Jack Clayton's papers so covers in depth the development of the script (by Truman Capote), sets, photography, technical innovations, music and costumes as well as Clayton's approach to filming. Although not a success on original release, the film has now been rightly identified as a classic. One bonus is the quality of Frayling's writing, something not commonly associated with books about film. (I should confess an interest as I provided some statistical information, but that does not detract from my observation that this is a welcome addition to the BFI Film Classic bookshelf).


The Blood of Crows: An Anderson and Costello Thriller (An Anderson & Costello Mystery Series Book 4)
The Blood of Crows: An Anderson and Costello Thriller (An Anderson & Costello Mystery Series Book 4)
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars she should crow !!, 10 Oct. 2012
One of the great things in life in discovering a new author. Even better is when that author takes a significant leap forward in their writing. That's the case with Caro Ramsay. In The Blood Of Crows, she goes from being excellent to seriously excellent - up there with the big hitters. When promise becomes prime. So what makes this different. Well, for a start, although still set in Glasgow, it's a story with international ramifications. Her characters have matured and you know in crime that means their lives have got worse, so all are struggling with demons (some, of their own making). Ramsay concerns herself not just with the usual procedurals but also the thud of bureaucracy that inhibits investigations these days. Feuds erupt because one detective takes another's case. One character is desperate to return to work after a life-threatening incident because otherwise she knows she will lose her job. The toll the job takes has never been more finely wrought. Two characters cannot forget murder victims dying in their arms, the horror of being unable to save them. I've not even mentioned the story yet and that's because the finest crime writers make you more concerned about the characters than the plot. In any case, Ramsay makes you work hard to keep up with a story that zips along like a firecracker. The disparate strands soon weave together in a compulsively readable way. Her red herrings are so powerful they turn molten. And the title has a ramification that I guarantee will give you a sinking feeling in your stomach.


Birthdays for the Dead
Birthdays for the Dead
by Stuart MacBride
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars masterpiece, 14 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Birthdays for the Dead (Hardcover)
This is just stunning - the best crime novel in the last 20 years. The detective is as mysterious as the crime he is trying to solve. and while I'm no big fan of the trend for detectives to be victims, this really is compelling. Ash Henderson is as vivid a creation as Logan from the Aberdeen-set books. MacBride writes brilliant prose with a cutting turn of phrase and classic dialogue. And the crazy sidekick psychologist is memorable. While this may be as down and dirty as it gets - Ash is dating a stripper, and is hiding from loan sharks, he's tremendously sympathetic. A fabulous achievement.


England - Top Of The World (Limited Edition with Souvenir Programme) [DVD]
England - Top Of The World (Limited Edition with Souvenir Programme) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Andrew Strauss
Price: £8.55

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars appalling..what a con!, 28 Dec. 2011
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This is the worst cricket dvd ever. Sunset and Vine should be ashamed of themselves - as should the con merchants who have been posting 5-star reviews in an effort to jack up the ratings. There is hardly any cricket. The Indian innings in the 1st test consists of just 11 balls - yes ELEVEN balls - plus repeats of those eleven balls showing the criketers getting out. You get no idea of the tension of each day. Just Vaughan who is a pretty wooden commentator and Strauss giving some kind of "analysis" which takes place, of all places, in someone's kitchen. I bought 3 copies of this rubbish for Xmas presents. More fool me.


Viking Gold
Viking Gold
by V. Campbell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent adventure tale, 14 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Viking Gold (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this adventure story. It was pretty much a thrill-a-minute. The plot concerns a mysterious book whose contents could literally change the known Viking world. But what a whirlwind journey it is. There's volcanic eruptions, sea serpents, umpteen sword fights, traitors, mysterious lands, and sea voyages and so many twists you can hardly keep up as the action races from Norway to Greenland. The main character goes through a convincing transformation from timid boy terrified of being a coward like this father to a battle-hardened leader of men. There are some very interesting musings on Norse gods vs Christianity. Campbell has done a brilliant job of rendering the period - you can almost smell the atmosphere - and the dialogue is particularly sharp. I look forward to the sequel from this very promising author.


The Fear Index
The Fear Index
by Robert Harris
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a good read but...., 11 Oct. 2011
This review is from: The Fear Index (Hardcover)
Robert Harris at his best - Fatherland, Enigma, Pompeii - is brilliant. He is a literate high-concept writer and when the concept works so does the book. But when the concept is on the lazy side - Archangel, the two other Roman books - we end up with a lot of erudition and not much story. Or he can do an entertaining rehash such as Ghost Writer which is an enjoyable read with a mild twist at the end, but hardly original. This novel is like Ghost Writer with a touch of the Michael Crichtons. I enjoyed reading it but guessed the ending less than halfway through and had also worked out what was going on in the main character's mind about the same time. It's meant to be a finanacial thriller and does a good job of that and a story of paranoia and that's good - up to a point. I read it in a day, but was disappointed. Which kind of sums it up. Annoyingly, the fulcrum of a better idea was tossed away - how physicists and mathematicians ended up driving the derivatives machine that effectively caused the banking crisis in the first place.


Crossfire (Francis Thriller)
Crossfire (Francis Thriller)
by Dick Francis
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars please give up felix, 4 Oct. 2010
I hate writing this review because I am a massive Dick Francis fan with all his books on my shelves including many early 1st editions. But this not Dick Francis. It's not even his ghost. It's a poor shadow. The plot was just awful - who is going to be sympathetic to someone being blackmailed because they have not paid their tax? Felix, please give up. You sat at the foot of the master all these years without picking up enough to write these books single-handedly. I am sorry to say I will not be tempted again.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 29, 2010 7:29 PM GMT


Dark Water
Dark Water
by Caro Ramsay
Edition: Paperback

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Queen of Darkness, 30 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Dark Water (Paperback)
Anderson and Costello are fast becoming the crime pairing du jour. In Caro Ramsay's latest thriller, Dark Water, the detectives are up against another vicious killer. In the flashback chilling opener a woman is hunted down through the fog in a high-speed car chase that ends with an ominous click. Fast forward to the present day and it's clear Mr Click is back. And Ms Twist - for Ms Ramsay keeps us wrong-footed all the time as murders and suspects pile up. Cop shop politics make things even trickier while the personal lives of Anderson and Costello threaten to implode. This is just so riveting that it's impossible to go into the story without giving away the vital clues that hold together this tour de force. With her debut novel, Absolution, Ms Ramsay hit the ground running as the Queen of Tartan Noir and on this form is unlikely to give up her crown. The rave reviews adorning the cover don't come close to telling you how good Ramsay really is - whether it's her grasp of the destructive nature of human relationships, the deftly drawn Glaswegian background, snappy dialogue, her mastery of the office intrigue that undermines the investigation, or the bittersweet symphonies that haunt the personal lives of her main protagonists.


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